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Full text of "Virginia Wildlife"

Bob Duncan 
Executive Director 



Thanksgiving has al- 
ways been my fa- 
vorite holiday. That, and 
Groundhog's Day — but 
that's another story. 
Thanksgiving honors a 
most special family time, 
and my memories cen- 
ter upon the elaborate 
meals, which always 
seemed to include wild 
game, and the outings shared with fami- 
ly and friends to partake of nature's 
bounty. My earliest hunting memories 
carry me back to an abandoned apple or- 
chard in Pulaski County where a holiday 
rabbit hunt with my grandfather, dad, 
uncle, and cousin was like a scene out of 
a Norman Rockwell painting of men and 
dogs that surely speaks to a less compli- 
cated time in life. And what a place for 
rabbits! 

I also recall the time my Chesa- 
peake Bay retriever and I left my home in 
Radford after a wonderful dinner, headed 
back to college in Tennessee, only to get 
caught in a major snowstorm. It was one 
of the few times I remember that result- 
ed in Interstate 81 being closed and 




when we ended up 
stranded in a deep snow 
drift, it was a Chilhowie 
deer hunter on his way 
home from a Thanksgiv- 
ing Day hunt who came 
to our rescue. I never got 
his name, and he would 
not accept any payment. 
He just asked that I call 
his wife to tell her he was 
safely on his way. His act of kindness to 
his fellow man and a big ol' Chessie have 
often been recalled. 

Whether it was deer hunting in the 
snow or my very primitive attempts at 
duck hunting on the New River, I have 
always treasured late November and the 
moments of quiet contemplation that 
accompany this holiday. I am most 
grateful for those memories and for the 
times spent with family in the southwest 
comer of the state. While I have been 
blessed to hunt in many places away 
from Virginia, in my heart I am never far 
from the experiences gained as a young 
hunter in the land that I call home. 

Here's wishing you and your loved 
ones the season's best! 



Mission Statement 

To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; 
To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard 
the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; To promote safety for persons 
and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an 
awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities. 

Dedicated to the Conservation of Virginia's Wildlife and Natural Resources 
VOLUME 71 NUMBER 11 



Commonwealth of Virginia 
Bob McDonnell, Governor 

HUNTING & FISHING 

LICENSE FEES 

Subsidized this publication 

Secretary of Natural Resources 

Douglas W. Domenech 

Department of Game and 
Inland Fisheries 

Bob Duncan 
Executive Director 



Members of the Board 

Ward Burton, Halifax 
Lisa Caruso, Chruch Road 
Brent Clarke, Fairfax 
Curtis D. Colgate, Virginia Beach 
James W. Hazel, Oakton 
Randy J. Kozuch, Alexandria 
John W. Montgomery, Jr., Sandston 
Mary Louisa Pollard, Irvington 
F. Scott Reed, Jr., Manakin-Sabot 
Leon Turner, Fincastle 
Charles S. Yates, Cleveland 



Magazine Staff 

Sally Mills, Editor 

Lee Walker, Ron Messina, Julia Dixon, 

Contributing Editors 
Emily Pels, Art Director 
Carol Kushlak, Production Manager 



Color separations and printing by 
Progress Printing, Lynchburg, VA. 



Virpnia Wildlife (ISSN 0042 6792) is published 
monthly by the Virginia Department of Game and 
Inland Fisheries. Send all subscription orders and 
address changes to Virginia Wildlife, P. O. Box 7477, 
Red Oak, Iowa 51591-0477. Address all other com- 
munications concerning this publication to 'Virginia 
Wildlife, P. O. Box 11104, 4010 West Broad Street, 
Richmond, "Virginia 23230-1104. Subscription rates 
are $12.95 for one year, $23.95 for two years; $4.00 
per each back issue, subject to availability. Out-of- 
country rate is $24.95 for one year and must be paid 
in U.S. funds. No refunds for amounts less than 
$5.00. To subscribe, call toll-free (800) 710-9369. 
POSTMASTER: Please send all address changes to 
Virginia Wildlife, PO. Box 7477, Red Oak, Iowa 
51591-0477, Postage for periodicals paid at Rich- 
mond, Virgiitia and additional entry offices. 

Copyright 2010 by the Virginia Department of Game 
and Inland Fisheries. All rights reserved. 

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shall 
afford to all persons an equal access to Department 
programs and facilities without regard to race, color, 
religion, national origin, disability, sex, or age. If you 
believe that you have been discriminated agaiast in 
any program, activity or facility, please write to: Vir- 
ginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 
ATTN: Compliance Officer, (4010 West Broad Street.) 
P O. Box 11104, Richmond, Virginia 23230-1104. 

"This publication is intended for general informa- 
honal purposes only and even,' effort has been made 
to ensure its accuracy. The information contained 
herein does not serve as a legal representation offish 
and wildlife laws or regulations. The Virginia De- 
partment of Game and Inland Fisheries does not as- 
sume responsibility for an)' change in dates, 
regulations, or information that may occur after pub- 
lication." 



\ 




ONTENTS 




About the cover: 
The smell of a wood burning 
stove, the backdrop of colors, 
the buck on the move — all 
signs of the late fall season, 
a time most revered by deer 
hunters in Virginia woods. 
©John R. Ford 



V^ 



[MaMi 



wedhf 



TO 



Magazine 
Subscriptions 

For subscriptions 

and address changes 

call 

1-800-710-9369 

12 issues for $12.95 

24 issues for $23.95 





Fresh Beginnings 
Benefit Wildlife 

by David Hart 
Managing national forests through 
limited timber harvesting reaps 
tremendous benefits to many species. 



[* Students Saving Snails 

by Gail Brown 
Students in Southwest learn a big 
lesson in responsibility as they lend 
a hand to an endangered snail. 






Deer Hunting is Not 
Just For xMen 

by F. Eugene Hester 
Deer hunting has captured the heart and 
mind of a young Stafford woman, thanks 
to mentoring by her dad. 

Redbud Run 

by Marie Majarov 
The transformation of a small stream in 
Winchester will honor both the ecological 
and historical significance of the area. 

Stranded on Mountaintops 

by Cristina Santiestevan 
There will be winners and losers as climate 
changes prompt the movement of animals 
to new zip codes. 

Rx for Your Dog 

by Clarke C. Jones 
As these veterinarians will tell you, bringing 
home a new puppy or dog is the first step in 
their long-term care commitment. 



Journal 
Off the Leash 
Photo Tips 
Dining In 







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W: >M 



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k^«^%&^ 




Courtesy of Mark Banker 



Cutting trees is good for many animals. 



by David Hart 

' I jf A- hen Dean Stauffer 
IX j / holds up a photo of a 
r ir fresh clearcut before his 
third-year wUdlife students, he asks 
them to give their reactions. Pre- 
dictably, at least a few of them are 
shocked or saddened by the sight. 
Once Stauffer has their attention, the 
wildlife professor at Virginia Tech 
leads his students in a lively discus- 
sion about wildlife habitat and habitat 
diversity. 

"I really upset some of my stu- 
dents when I tell them that clearcut- 
ting is actually good for many 
species," says Stauffer, "especially 
those students who come from an 



urban environment and aren't that 
familiar with various types of 
wildlife and their preferred habitats." 

There's no question timber har- 
vesting, especially on public lands, is 
a contentious and highly emotional 
issue. It has been vilified by many in 
the environmental movement for the 
past 30 years. As a result, the general 
public has an overwhelmingly nega- 
tive perception of clearcutting, and 
any attempt to cut a tree on public 
land is met with swift and fierce op- 
position from activists. Timber har- 
vesting on Virginia's 1.8 million acres 
of national forest is just a fraction of 
what it used to be. 

"We are missing a whole compo- 
nent of high-quality habitat," says 
Stauffer. 



That's why a variety of conserva- 
tion organizations like the Ruffed 
Grouse Society, Quality Deer Man- 
agement Association, and the Na- 
tional Wild Turkey Federation are 
calling for more cutting on our public 
lands. So are many of the Depart- 
ment's own wildlife biologists. Cur- 
rently, less than two percent of the 1.8 
million-acre national forest land in 
Virginia has been cut in the last 20 
years, according to Ruffed Grouse 
Society Regional Wildlife Biologist 
Mark Banker. 

"Last year, less than 1,200 acres 
were cut and the trend has been simi- 
lar for many years before that," he 
says. 

Stauffer and Banker both agree 
that maintaining just 5 percent of the 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www.HuntFishVa.com 




i^'-trl^ 



Signs of life are readily apparent shortly after a selective cut (left). Above, vibrant 
growth quickly transforms the gray scar on the landscape with a mix of young 
trees, vines, and thickets. 



birds and mammals that feed on 
them. 

A few years later, the former gray 
smudge on an otherwise verdant hill- 
side is itself a vibrant green, a mix of 
young trees, vines, and dense thick- 
ets. A study conducted by a U.S. For- 
est Service research ecologist found 
the production of fruits and berries 
from such plants as dogwood, poke- 
weed, blackberry, and greenbrier 
was up to 20 times higher in regener- 
ated forests than in undisturbed, ma- 
ture forests. As a result, a rich mix of 
birds and mammals thrive in that 
lush new growth. In short, it's incred- 
ible habitat teeming with Ufe. 

In ten years, the new trees pro- 
vide overhead cover for such species 
as grouse and woodcock, while the 
dense cover under those trees still of- 
fers excellent food and cover for a va- 
riety of other critters. Turkeys and 
songbirds nest and feed in it. Deer 
thrive in it; so do small mammals and 
reptiles. 

No one is proposing the whole- 
sale mowing of our forests, and no 
„ one is suggesting we harvest areas 
^ that have been set aside as wilderness 
i or even the few areas that qualify as 



national forest as to 10-year-old for- 
est would create an incredible diver- 
sity of habitat that would benefit a 
wide variety of wild animals. 

"That would mean the forest 
would be on a 200-year rotation," ex- 
plains Stauffer. "In other words, once 
an area is timbered, it wouldn't be 
timbered again for at least another 
200 years. It also means that half of 
our national forest would be over 100 
years old." 

Stauffer says forestry practices have 
changed dramatically in the past few 
decades, thanks in part to those envi- 
ronmental watchdog groups. Now, 
responsible logging companies fol- 
low what are knov^ni in the industry 



as Best Management Practices 
(BMPs), which reduce the overall im- 
pact of a cut. BMPs reduce erosion 
and provide buffer zones adjacent to 
watersheds, among other things. The 
short-term impact is minimal. 

There's no question a fresh 
clearcut is an unattractive gaping 
hole in the middle of a lush, green 
forest. What logging opponents 
don't show, however, is that same 
clearcut 20, 10, even 2 years later. 
Within just a year, even less, young 
growth springs from the tree stumps 
and grasses rise from the disturbed 
soil. Soon after, a wide variety of 
vines, shrubs, and other plants thrive 
in the new sunlight that reaches the 
ground. The cycle of life starts over, 
from the plants and insects to the 




Turkeys are among many species that benefit 
from the dense cover and food sources created 
by good timber management. 



NOVEMBER 20 1 




There's no question that logging can 
have negative impacts on watersheds 
when tinnber companies don't follow 
best management practices. However, 
when done thoughtfully and carefully, 
the impacts can be lessened. One 
study conducted in the Chatahoochee 
National Forest in Georgia found virtu- 
ally no long-term impact from logging 
to a nearby stream. Other studies that 
monitor water quality in relation to 
timber management activities have 
also shown negligible effects. 

George Washington and Jefferson 
National Forest Planning and Forest 
Ecology Staff Officer Ken Landgraf says 
loggers are required to follow strict 
guidelines set by the forest service be- 
fore they cut a single tree. Those 
guidelines include buffer strips of at 
least 100 feet adjacent to permanent 
streams. 

"We survey an area and mark all 
boundaries and even the trees that 
can and can't be cut," he says. "All log- 
ging activity is heavily monitored and 
controlled to ensure miminum impact 
to nearby watersheds." 



old-growth. Large areas of the George 
Washington anci Jefferson National 
Forest aren't suitable for logging — the 
slope is too steep or rocky and the soil, 
too thin to rebound quickly. There are 
thousands upon thousands of acres, 
however, that are perfectly suitable 
for timber harvest. 



©David Hart 




However, drive down just about 
any gravel road that snakes through 
Virginia's mountains and you'll see 
nothing but homogenous, 70- to 100- 
year-old forests that offer little in the 
name of diversity. A number of 
species rely on those mature forests, 
of course. Scarlet tanagers and orioles 
live almost excilusively in the tops of 
mature trees. Woodpeckers rely on 
large, dead trees, as well. Countless 
other birds and mammals, however, 
need young forests. Even if they don't 
"need" it to survive, those species 
benefit tremendously from the habi- 
tat created by timber management. 
Ruffed grouse are a perfect example. 

"Grouse utilize early-succession- 
al habitat because it not only provides 
more food in the form of soft mast, 
green vegetation and hard mast, but 
because it provides necessary over- 
head cover from predators Uke hawks 
and owls," says Banker. "Food is lim- 
ited and there is virtually no protec- 
tion from predators in a mature 
forest." 

That's why grouse have fallen on 
hard times. And with them, so have 
grouse hunters. 

More than 34,000 hunters pursued 
grouse in 1994, according to a survey 
conducted by the Department. They 
spent 176,000 man-days in the grouse 
woods and harvested 68,418 birds. 
Since then, those numbers have 
plummeted. Just 13,300 grouse 
hunters took to the field in 2008, 
spending an average of only five days 
in the woods out of the lengthy sea- 
son. The reason? Timber activity was 
considerably higher in the 1970s and 
'80s, but those clearcuts have matured 
and no longer provide suitable habi- 
tat for the popular game bird. 

Things are just as bleak for deer 
hunters who frequent the slopes and 
hollows in the western mountains. 
While private land deer harvest fig- 
ures west of the Blue Ridge have gen- 
erally kept pace with those east of the 
Blue Ridge, harvest figures have 
plummeted on pubUc lands west of 
that range. Bath County hunters, for 



example, tagged about 2,800 deer on 
public land in 1986. Twenty years 
later, that number fell to arotmd 1,200. 
The trend is similar in virtually every 
county with national forest land. Just 
as grouse need young forests, deer 
also benefit from the dense growth 
that springs up in managed forests. 
Older oaks may produce acorns, but 
they shade out much of the growth 
deer need when acorns aren't avail- 
able. In short, there is nothing for them 
to eat in a large stand of old trees. 

"There's no question removing 
mature trees to allow sunlight to reach 
the forest floor would be greatly bene- 
ficial to deer," says DGEF Deer Project 
Coordinator Nelson Lafon. "I don't 
think we will ever get back to the pop- 
ulation levels of the 1980s, but increas- 




Grouse numbers have fallen; they need 
high-quality habitat that comes with 
active timber management. 

ing management activity on the 
national forest would certainly help." 
A bigger threat to our forests is 
looming, adds Lafon. As oaks mature 
and die, shade-tolerant trees like 
maples and white pines take over. 
That not only spells trouble for deer, it 
can also have a detrimental effect on 
turkeys and bears, which rely on 
acorns in the fall. 

VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www.HuntFishVa.com 




Bobwhite quail rely upon the early successional habitat created by clearcuts. 




Two years after a selective cut the forest Jlooi has been transformed, creating cover 
and food for a range of wildlife, including the blue-winged warbler (right). 
©Rob & Ann Simpson 



Also, the open forest floor may be 
leading to lower survival rates of 
fawns. A study in Pennsylvania found 
that predation of whitetail fawns is 
significantly higher in big woods than 
it is in farm country, where fawns have 
far more hiding places. 

The ripple effect is obvious. Based 
on mandatory national forest permit 
sales, hunters are abandoning the na- 



tional forest. There were nearly 30,000 
fewer permits sold in 2007 than in 
1994. Lafon doesn't know if the deer 
kill has dropped due to a decline in 
hunters or because the more open for- 
est has made whitetails more vulnera- 
ble to harvest, therefore reducing their 
numbers overall. Possibly, hunter 
numbers have fallen as a result of the 
decline in deer and other game. Either 



way, the slide in hunter numbers hurts 
conservation efforts for all wildlife 
supporters. It also has a detrimental ef- 
fect on rural economies that depend on 
hunter dollars in the fall and winter 
seasons. 

Opponents suggest logging 
should instead take place on private 
property. Banker agrees, but he says 
that's not happening much these days, 
either. Besides, hunters should have 
quality habitat on public lands, as well. 

"Hunters are one of the largest 
user groups of Virginia's national for- 
est. Why shouldn't forest management 
include their needs?" he asks. 

Managing our public forests doesn't 
just benefit deer, turkeys and grouse, 
and the hunters who pursue them. 
Cuffing trees creates ideal habitat for a 
variety of non-game wildlife, as well, 
says Stauffer. A study conducted in 
South Carolina found considerably 
higher densities and a broader variety 
of songbirds in regenerated clearcuts 
than in mature forests. In some cases, 
lack of early successional habitat is in 
part responsible for the drastic decline 
in a number of songbirds which rely 
on it for nesting and brood rearing. 

"Golden-winged and blue- 
winged warblers and prairie warblers 
cire in serious decline largely due to 
habitat loss," says Stauffer. "One way 
to help them is to provide more early- 
successional habitat through timber 
management." 

The very notion 
cutting trees to hel 
wildlife may be shock- 
ing to Stauffer's stu- 
dents at first, but 
once they un- 
derstand the dynamics of 
habitat diversity they 
change their minds. Thank- 
fully, so are many other people 
who were once wholly opposed to 
fimber harvesting. D 

David Hart is a full-time freelance writer and 
photographer from Rice. He is a regular contribu- 
tor to numerous national hunting and fisliing 
magazines. 




4 



NOVEMBER 20 10 



m^^ 





An endansered snail 

is getting anotiier 

ciiance to thrive 

in tine rivers of 

louthwestern Virginia. 



^ and photos by Gail Brown 



I he sign says "Buller Fish Cul- 
tural Station — Visitors Wel- 
come — 8am to 4 PM." There's 
no mention of the spiny riversnail, 
no etching of the wavy-rayed lamp- 
mussel or notification of the various 
gastropods or bivalves creating 
such a stir at the station. It's only 
when you come closer and see the 
smaller sign, "Aquatic Wildlife Con- 
servation Center (AWCC) Wildlife 
Diversity Division," that you gain a 
sense of what's going on — a whiff of 
the excitement in the air. 

What's going on at the Buller 
Station in Marion is an intensive and 
successful effort to propagate and 
release Virginia's state and federal 
endangered mussels and snails. The 
goal: restoring populations to previ- 
ous numbers wherever possible. To 
that end. Project Manager Mike Fin- 
der has supervised efforts at the cen- 
ter since 1998, when the building 
was turned over to the Wildlife Di- 
versity Division. Slowly but surely. 



■"im 




through the 
work of Fin- 
der, Mussel Re- 
covery Specialist 
Amanda Duncan^ 
Mussel Propagatidl 
Specialist Joseph Ferraro, 
Mussel Recovery Biologist Nathan 
Eckert, and Mussel Technician 
Jonathan Orr, these endangered ani- 
mals are relinquishing deeply 
imbedded secrets. The result? From 
2004 to the present, 4.1 million mus- 
sels were produced and 661,000 



were released. In addi- 
tion, almost 11,000 spiny 
riversnails were produced 
and then released into the 
Clinch and Powell rivers. As 
more information comes to the 
surface, chances for continued suc- 
cess increase. 

Yet, for all their hard work. Fin- 
der, a cheerful taskmaster, remains 
concerned that few people realize 
"the treasure trove that is southwest- 
em Virginia." According to Finder, 
"The younger generation feels like 



8 



VIRGINIA WILDUFE www, HuntFishVa.com 




Above and top right, students at Pearson's Corner (Hanover Co.) measure 
growth and record observations. 



Cleveland Elementary students release snails 
with biologist Mike Pinder Photo by Suzie Gilley 



there is nothing special where they 
live. In truth, people travel from all 
over the world to see some of these 
unique animals. There's a rich, natu- 
ral heritage of global importance 
here. In many ways, it rivals the 
rainforest." Snails feed on algae and 
organic debris and are an important 
source of food for many species. As 
with many endangered aquatic 
species, pollution, siltation, and the 
construction of dams have cost these 
animals — and animals that survive 
because of them — dearly. While the 

NOVEMBER 20 1 



diversity of freshwater snails in 
North America is one of the highest 
in the world, the rate of imperilment 
is also the highest, with 74 percent of 
the species listed as conservation 
targets. 

Not one to ignore a nagging con- 
cern, Pinder kept coming back to the 
idea that young people need to be 
involved in the care and restoration 
of their environmental inheritance. 
"Only then," Pinder states, "will 
they grow to understand they are 
stewards of one of Virginia's most 



unique natural resources." Pinder 
first looked to mussels as the solu- 
tion to this challenge; creatures so 
beautiful, so rare, so sneaky at times: 
"You think they're so benign, just 
sitting there. They're not. They're 
plotting! They fool the fish into raising 
and transporting their young. They 
make the fish work for them," says 
Pinder Feistiness aside, raising mus- 
sels is just too complex an endeavor to 
farm out to schools, so three years ago 
Pinder turned his focus toward loflu- 
vialis, the spiny riversnail. 



%.,.. 




Biologists Amanda Duncan and Joe Ferraro monitor conditions atAWCC. Snails 
are an important indicator of water quality and a food source for other animals. 



In Virginia, these gastropods 
(mollusks with one or no shells) are 
found in the Powell, Clinch, and 
North Fork Holston rivers. The name 
spiny riversnail comes from the 
ridges that are sometimes found on 
their shells. These snails make their 
own shells, which increase in size as 
the snails grow. While not as flashy as 
their two-shelled cousins, the shells 
are beautifully colored in browns and 
greens. More importantly, this snail 
has attributes that make it the perfect 
animal for students to raise, study, 
and rescue. At two and one-half inch- 
es in length, it is the longest river snail 
in North America and, with a life 
span of 15 years, it is one of the 
longest-lived snails on the continent. 

But what Pinder believes cap- 
tures the imagination of those who 
decide to help is the fact that they are 
state endangered and, like humans, 
the only member in their genus. 
Should they disappear, there really 
won't be any more. By 2008 the deci- 
sion was made: Students Saving Snails 



hatched into the open arms of fourth 
and fifth graders in Tazewell, Russell, 
and Wise counties. Last year schools 
in Washington and Scott counties 
participated, and this year schools in 
Smyth and Buchanan counties will 
join the effort. 

"Fourth and fifth graders are the 
perfect age for this project," states 
Wildlife EducaHon Project WILD Co- 
ordinator Suzie Gilley. Gilley was the 
first person Pinder contacted about 
the project, as her established rela- 
tionship with teachers across the 
state and her knowledge of what will 
or will not work in a classroom is in- 
valuable. "The kids are responsible 
and the snails, easy to care for. Snails 
are benign, no one's allergic to them, 
and the cost of setting up the 10-gal- 
lon tank needed to raise the snails is 
minimal." 

Gilley encourages schools in 
other parts of the state to raise garden 
snails and learn about decomposers. 
"While they're not the same," states 
Gilley, "the same opportunity is there 



[for students] to develop observation- 
al skills and character traits such as re- 
sponsibility." Gilley also loans her 
spiny riversnails out to schools want- 
ing to observe aquatic snails. 

Gilley set up a tank in her office 
before approaching teachers to deter- 
mine if any problems might surface. 
One did. "We tried growing algae, or 
food, without any small fish but it just 
wasn't working." Fish add nutrients 
that help the algae grow. They also 
help the algae by eating the zooplank- 
ton that feed on it. "Once I introduced 
a few guppies we had all the algae 
needed to keep the snails happy," 
states Gilley. 

Participating classrooms are 
given four snails, the aquarium, and 
all materials needed to get started. 
While raising snails is far easier than 
raising mussels, there are still critical 
steps that need to be followed. The 
tank should not be cleaned with de- 
tergents. Clean rocks can be added, 
but not too many, as fecal matter will 
accumulate. Spiny riversnails lay 
their eggs in the spring on smooth sur- 
faces, so a piece of PVC pipe is recom- 
mended. Because the snails feed on 
algae, the aquarium should be placed 
in a sunny window to give the algae 
an opportunity to grow. Extreme tem- 
peratures should be avoided, and a 
temperature of about 65 degrees is 
best. Students also need enough room 
to move around the tank and take 
notes as to what they observe. 

Cleveland Elementary teacher 
Ruth Elam, who's been involved in 




Snails with blue tags are released in the 
Powell River; yellow, in the Clinch River 



10 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE wwwHuntFishVa.com 




the program all three years, states 
that her classroom is used for after- 
school activities. Elam notes that her 
students linger long enough to warn 
the oncoming group not to "bother 
the snails or put anything into the 
tank." "I may sign for the snails," 
states Elam, "but they feel responsi- 
ble. We do a lot of math and a lot of 



Teachers attending the Virginia Science Standards Institute spend time at AWCC with 
Mil<e Pinder learning about the unique resources of the area. 



by measuring the snails and recorci- 
ing the identification number at- 
tached to each snail's shell. The 
identification number is a unique 
combination of one letter and three 
numbers on a bright yellow tag. 
When all tasks were completed, the 
students released the snails into the 
Clinch together. 

At the start of school this year, 
Tyler, now in fifth grade, stopped by 
her room to announce he saw one of 
the snails they released in the spring. 
Elam says she fishes in the river 
often, albeit not right there, but has 
never seen a mussel or a snail, al- 
though she believes she might find 
one if she looked — carefully. No 
doubt Tyler saw it because of the 
bright yellow tag. But how he noticed 
it — what with the grasses, stones, 
and silt — is hard to say. It must have 
been pure luck. Or a fluke. Or maybe 
a sign of what's to come. D 




Ruth Elam (2nd from L) and Suzie Gilley (far R) discuss the Students Saving Snails 
project with Council Elementary/Middle School (Buchanan Co.) teachers. 



science, but they learned responsibil- 
ity and a lot more, too." 

Last year's fourth graders not 
only raised the snails, but helped 
AWCC release almost 100 spiny 
riversnails into the Clinch River at 
Nash's Ford landing. Before the re- 
lease, the kids demonstrated the 
skills they acquired during the year 



Gail Brown is a retired teacher and school 
administrator. 



NOVEMBER 20 10 




by F.Eugene Hester 

When I talked with Chelsea 
Perry of Stafford, I was 
surprised to learn that this 
attractive young lady was 
as enthusiastic about deer 
hunting as any man I know. 
And she has the trophies 
that testify to her skill and 
determination. Chelsea's de- 
scriptions of her adventures 
were so vivid that I decided 
to let her tell her own story. 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www.HuntFishVa.corr 



Huitttn 



I Stajrted Young 

According to my father, 
I went on my first 
deer hunt when I was 
three years old. I was too young to 
remember, but my father tells the 
rest of the story like this. . . 

When I woke up one morning, 
he asked me if I wanted to go hunt- 
ing with him and 1 did. We got ready 
and went down to a creek bank on 
our property. After an hour or so, 
eight does crossed and came over to 
our side of the creek. My dad decid- 
ed to take a doe! Because he is in a 
wheelchair, he hunts on a four- 
wheeler, and because he couldn't get 
off, he showed me how to tie a rope 
around the deer to pull it out of the 
woods behind the machine. We 
brought the deer home and he let me 
help skin it. I'm shocked 1 did that at 
such a young age! 

The first deer hunt 1 remember 
going on was when I was six years 
old. My father and my brother, 
Chad, picked me up from school 
early so we could go sit in the 
woods. I felt like I didn't learn a 
thing in school that day. I just 
watched the clock, waiting for "11" 
to roll by. 

We would climb into the box 
stand and wait. While my dad and 
brother were on the lookout, I sat on 
the floor of the box stand and did 
some homework. After a while, they 
saw some does come out of the 




fcS^''^ 




woods and told me to slowly 
stand up. That was pretty cool! I 
wanted my dad or my brother to 
shoot one, but unfortunately it was 
not a doe day and that was all we saw 
in the woods that afternoon. 

My First Real Hunt ^Vas 

^Vlien I 'Was Only 

TenYeai-sOld 

The first time I ever carried a gun was when I 
was ten. I had my dad's black-powder gun 
when he and I went down to the creek bank. He 
sat on the four-wheeler and I brought a foldout 
chair to sit on. After an hour or so, a small 4-point 
buck came down to get some water from the creek. 
Because my father has so many "big bucks" 
on the wall, 1 thought this was an extremely little 
buck. 1 told my father that the deer was just a 



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NOVEMBER 20 10 






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Chelsea Perry learns how to determine distance and range for her shotgun with help from her dad, Keith Perry. 



"teenager" and I wasn't going to 
shoot it. I don't know what I was 
thinking! My dad whispered that he 
was going to take the gun from me 
and shoot the deer himself. I told him 
that neither of us was going to shoot 
it, and I refused to give him the gun. 

I Like to 
Start Early 

I would rather leave before daylight; 
I think it's more exciting that way. 
But because we were making drives 
there was really no need to be there 
before dawn. It's not like we had to 
get in and get settled like we did 
when still-hunting. I like to hunt 
from sunup to sundown! I never 
want to leave early. After two or 
three drives, I'll go back to the hunt- 



ing shack, or the truck if it's real cold, 
and have a sandwich and a couple of 
snacks for lunch. Some of the people 
in the hunt club like to talk and lolly- 
gag during the lunch break, but I 
don't like to waste time while hunt- 
ing. I want to get the most drives in as 
possible. 

My First Deer 

I wasn't able to harvest the first deer I 
spotted after I started carrying a gun, 
because the only thing I saw all day 
was a doe and it wasn't a doe day. 
But fortunately, a couple of days later 
when I shot my first deer, it was a doe 
day! I was using a Benelli Super 
Eagle 12-gauge shotgun with 00 
buck. The four drivers had just let the 
dogs loose and they were barking 



like crazy. Not two seconds later I 
heard the noise every hunter loves to 
hear, so I hit the safety and pulled up 
my shotgun. 

Three does came crashing down 
to my left, the dogs hot on their trail. 
Luckily for me, the does ran into a 
huge brush pile and turned my way, 
on dead run straight in front of me. 
My heart dropped, I was so excited. I 
aimed, shot, and dropped one of the 
does right in her tracks. 

So far, I have only taken three 
deer. The first one was a doe; the sec- 
ond, a unicorn spike — which I made 
into a key-chain; and the third was 
my big 11 -pointer! The doe was quite 
close when I shot her. She dropped as 
soon as my gun went off. I harvested 
the unicorn spike on the same day 
but on a different drive. I heard him 



14 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www.HuntFishVa.com 



come running up the hill. He had two 
other bucks with him, but because of 
two big beech trees in my path I could 
only see the spike. 1 was thrilled. 1 
wanted to take two in one day be- 
cause my dad always seems to kill 
more than one every time he goes 
hunting. I wanted to give him a little 
competition. When I shot, he looked 
like he was going to run off, but he 
took one step back and I could hear 
him falling down the hill. 

The day I took my 11-pointer was 
a wonderful day. I actually felt terri- 
bly sick to my stomach when 1 woke 
up and my dad begged me to stay 
home, but there was just no way I was 
going to do that! And it's a good thing 
1 didn't. It was the last drive of the day 
and my dad and I just got settled into 
our spot. I loaded up the shotgun and 
sat in a tiny foldout chair My dad had 
the radio earpiece in, so I kept asking 
if the drivers had let the dogs loose 
yet. He told me he would let me 
know when they did. A couple sec- 
onds later I could hear leaves and 
sticks crunching in a distance. My 
dad saw it before I did and said, "Oh 
my gosh Chelsea, stand up!" 

I hit the safety off, stood up, and 
aimed. He was looking right at me 
from 75 yards away. My heart was 
beating so fast I wanted to make sure I 
was aiming right at him. As soon as I 
shot, because my feet were side-by- 
side when 1 stood, my shoulder flew 
back and knocked me right off my 
feet. I was lying flat on my back with 
my gun pointing in the air and I asked 
my dad if I got him. 

He was laughing so hard, saying, 
"There's just no way," over and over 
again with the biggest smile on his 
face. He told me that he was down, 
that I had dropped him as soon as it 
hit. My dad told me it was at least an 
8-pointer so 1 wanted to run out and 
see it. As soon as I got back on my feet 
he told me that the dogs were just let 
loose, and I couldn't go out there until 
the drive was over. He made me sit 
there for an hour or so and wait, more 



anxious than I have ever been in my 
life! I have only shot my gun three 
times, and I've taken three deer. I 
haven't missed yet. 

My dad made jerky, stew and, of 
course, tenderloin out of my three 
deer. All of that was absolutely 
amazing! 

An Outdoors Oii*l 

The most exciting thing about my 
hunts is spending time with my fa- 
ther. Hunting is my dad's favorite 
thing to do and it's becoming one of 
mine. I love being out in the woods, 
even if 1 don't see anything all day. 
I've always been an outdoors girl 
and enjoy animals and nature, in 
general. I am counting the days till 
hunting seasons starts! I cannot wait 
to get back out in the woods. D 



f. Eugeiw Hester is a hioloi^ist and iiu'inbcr of 
the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association. He 
lives in Sprin^ield. 




Chelsea hopes to take her next deer 
with a crossbow. Below, she and her 
dad proudly show her 11-point buck. 




NOVEMBER 20 10 



15 




Watershed 

conservation and 

Civil War history 

unite. 




story and photos by Marie Majarov 



edbud Run, a rambling 5- 
mile-long stream of the 
Opequon watershed in the 
far nortK^^«L.feaches of our common- 
wealth, is unique and its attributes, lit- 
tle known. Boasting beauty in every 
season, it is one of only three streams in 
the Shenandoah Valley that support a 
naturally-reproducing rainbow trout 
population. Its deeply incised banks of 
limestone and marl bordering cold, 
spring-fed waters, lush surrounding 



meadows, and healthy and productive 
woodlands are also hallowed ground. 
Here, on September 19, 1864 in the 
bloodiest of all Civil War battles fought 
in the Shenandoah Valley, Lieutenant 
General Jubal Early's 15,200 Confeder- 
ate soldiers were outnumbered by 
General Phillip Sheridan's 39,240 
Union troops. This decisive "Third 
Battle of Winchester" effectively sealed 
the Confederacy's fate in the valley. A 
staggering, almost inconceivable, 
8,630 combined Union and Confeder- 
ate soldiers were killed, wounded, or 
missing by the end of the day. 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www.HuntFishVa.com 




Spring in the Battlefield Woods brings beautiful redbud blossoms, from which the 
stream takes its name. 



Fisheries technicians Jason Hallacher 
and Aaron Coffman, with TU's Carl 
Rettenberger (kneeling), employ elec- 
trofishing to monitor fish populations. 
The biodegradable string measures 
distance surveyed. 



Now, another major battle is 
being waged and won at Redbud 
Run. Impassioned partners from 
local, state, and federal agencies and 
organizations — along with many 
dedicated individuals — have been 
actively collaborating since 2001 to 
protect this rich wildlife corridor and 
historical site from threats of mount- 
ing urban development in the Win- 
chester-Frederick Coimty region. Jim 
Lawrence, who manages grant-fund- 
ed projects for The Opequon Water- 
shed, is working with Winchester 
Trout Unlimited (TU), Shenandoah 
Valley Battlefield Foundation (the 
Foundation), Civil War Preservation 
Trust (the Trust), and the Department 
(DGIF), and takes a central role in or- 
ganizing the efforts involved. He de- 
scribes the overall mission as a 
"multi-faceted watershed manage- 
ment project," a greenway with the 
goal of providing "protection, access, 
and interpretation of natural and his- 
torical resources" along the entire 
Redbud corridor. "The importance of 
managing this watershed cannot be 
overstated," said Lawrence. "From 
an awareness perspective, it serves as 
our region's Chesapeake Bay." 

Humble Beginnings 

Redbud Run's headwaters arise from 
modest springs in northern Frederick 
County and converge in the nearby 
221 -acre Fort Collier Industrial Park. 
This upper watershed primarily con- 
tributes storm drainage during dry 
periods to Redbud and represents a 
major line of defense for the trout 
fishery in the lower stream. 

Keenly aware of the effects that 
rain and stormwater runoff from de- 
veloped areas can have on stream 
health. Fort Collier Group owner and 



NOVEMBER 20 10 



17 



manager Whitney Wagner and asso- 
ciated tenants of the park are actively 
engaged with Lawrence and The 
Opequon Watershed in vital im- 
provements: planting trees, restoring 
floodplains, creating wetlands, and 
reducing runoff from impervious 
surfaces such as parking areas and 
rooftops. Some of the largest rain gar- 
dens in the state have been installed 
here. These efforts, funded by the 
state Departments of Forestry (DOF), 
Environmental Quality, Conserva- 
tion and Recreation, and the National 
Fish & Wildlife Foundation's Target- 
ed Watershed Program, are absolute- 
ly critical in minimizing lethal 
stormwater impacts that otherwise 
would devastate water quality and 
trout habitat downstream and be- 
yond. They also make for a verdant, 
picturesque industrial area. 



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Left, a beautiful rainbow trout is being released after the survey. 
Above, the quaint spring house at Fay Spring adds to the area's charm. 



The Core Battlefield 

Flowing out of Fort Collier into the 
core Third Winchester battlefield, 
Redbud Run receives a major infu- 
sion of cold water from Fay and Sem- 
peles springs. Over 140 acres of the 
Foundation's protected lands sur- 
round these springs. Here, early in 
the Redbud conservation campaign, 
partners utilized the USDA Conser- 
vation Reserve Enhancement Pro- 
gram to exclude livestock and restore 
the ecology of the riparian zone by 
establishing buffers and planting 
trees. The Department re-introduced 
native brook trout. More recently, the 
Foundation and Winchester TU ob- 
tained grants to remove a culvert 



crossing that was restricting fish 
movement from potential spawning 
areas upstream. 

Once large and sprawling, the 
battlefield has been greatly degrad- 
ed, even destroyed, by rapidly ex- 
panding development. The last 
intact, contiguous parcels of high- 
integrity battlefield land bounding 
Redbud Run (575 acres in total) have 
been purchased from willing 
landowners by the Foundation and 
the Trust, with generous support 
from Frederick County. The result is a 
history-filled sanctuary of pristine 
oak-hickory woodlands, lavishly 
strewn with redbud, serviceberry, 
and numerous mushroom species. 
Meadows, fertile farmlands, cattails. 




A concrete culvert is removed and the 
natural flovj of the stream, restored. 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE wwwHuntFishVa.com 




and mud flats provide habitat to 
plentiful bird species — blue and 
green herons, kingfishers, song- 
birds — along with beaver, muskrat, 
fox, and deer. All provide a glorious 
treasure for people to explore, to ex- 
perience nature, and to gain an ap- 
preciation of the history and sacrifice 
occurring on this land. 

The Civil War Preservation 
Trust's 222-acre portion of Third Win- 
chester Battlefield features five miles 
of low-impact walking /hiking /cy- 
cling trails with interpretive kiosks 
that guide visitors through the san- 
guinary events of September 1864. 
Standing on the rustic wooden 
bridge over Redbud Run at the bat- 
tlefield's heart, you might feel goose- 
bumps as you look eastward over a 
picturesque riparian landscape to- 
ward the Foundation's newly ac- 
quired 209-acre Huntsberry Farm. It 



This limestone marl crumbles easily, 
covering the spaces between pebbles 
that are needed by spawning trout. 



was on this property that Union 
leader Col. Rutherford B. Hayes and 
his men charged into the stream, 
logging through waist-high mud to 
engage enemy fire. 

Chase Milner manages land con- 
servation for the Foundation. Reflect- 
ing on the enthusiasm of the partners 
to protect Redbud Run and Third 
Winchester Battlefield, he said, "Our 
primary goal is to protect both the 
natural and cultural resources of the 
Huntsberry Farm. We're currently 
clearing invasive species and debris 
from the property so that we may un- 
dertake archaeological studies and 
further restoration work to protect 
and interpret the farm's historic land- 
scape." 

Trout Fishery 

Leaving the quiet farmlands of the 
Foundation's Huntsberry Farm, 
Redbud Run benefits from the lush 
canopy of tall sycamore, box elder, 
and walnut trees that shade its rif- 
fling water. Here, before its conflu- 
ence with Opequon Creek and 
eventual flow into the Potomac, an- 
other 33 acres — including 1.3 miles of 
Redbud Run access — were part of 
yet another conservation effort won 
by the partners and accepted for on- 
going management by DGIF in 2005. 
Although this area might be 
smaller than many DGIF-held prop- 
erties, it illustrates the Department's 
deep commitment to stream and 
habitat conservation, as well as its 



Rain provides essential moisture for 
living resources and replenishes 
water levels in streams. Unfortu- 
nately, in urban settings significant 
negative effects also occur: Storm- 
water running off of sidewalks, 
roads, and roofs can carry petrole- 
um products, animal waste, fertiliz- 
ers, pesticides, and household 
chemicals into our streams and im- 
pact fisheries. Runoff volume and 
pollutants increase, water quality 
decreases, and water temperatures 
rise. Management of stormwater 
impact is an essential ingredient in 
the battle to protect Redbud Run 
and a major need for many streams 
in Virginia. 

Install rain gardens! They mimic 
some of the valuable functions of ri- 
parian areas along streams. Rain 
gardens use native plants and grass- 
es to capture the first "flush" from 
rain events. You will gain groundwa- 
ter recharge, increase beautiful and 
helpful vegetation in your yard, and 
provide more habitat for wildlife. 
You can collect runoff from your 
roof in practical, purchased or 
homemade rain barrels. Be creative 
and have fun. 

Join the battle: There are many 
ways you can help protect your local 
watershed and, in turn, save larger 
watersheds downstream. 




-iM / 




iim Lawrence of TU lays an erosion 
control blanket that will help protect 
Redbud Run during storms. 



NOVEMBER 20 10 



willingness to engage in collaborative 
efforts. Plans are to open a "Redbud 
Run Conservation Area" wliich will, 
in conjunction with the greenway, 
provide trails, walking paths, wildlife 
viewing, and fishing opportunities. 
The property is home to a millrace 
and a rugged old bam that one day 
could be renovated for an education 
center. The overall greenway project 
is receiving funding and technical as- 
sistance from the U.S. Forest Service 
Urban & Community Forestry Pro- 
gram, administered by the DOF. 

Protecting and encouraging the 
delicate balance that is stream health 
requires patience over the long term, 
study, and planning. To this end, 
DGIF Fisheries Biologist Steve Reeser 
regularly monitors fish populations 
throughout the length of the stream. 
Using electrofishing methodology, 
fish are meticulously counted, 
weighed, and measured, with all data 
recorded for analysis. 

The challenge at Redbud, Reeser 
explains, is its unique marl geology in 
which "precipitate from super-satu- 
rated calcium carbonate in the water 
impairs trout reproduction by filling 
in spaces between pebbles necessary 
for spawning and smothering eggs in 
redds. This geo-chemical phenome- 
non is natural but can keep trout pop- 
ulations from reaching maximum 
potential." 

Stream bottom macroinverte- 
brates, or the "aquatic insect popula- 
tions, crustaceans, mollusks, and 
more — food sources for trout — can 
also be limited by marl," said Reeser. 
Macroinvertebrate numbers serve as 
indicators of water quality. Here, 
Winchester TU shines in conducting 
regular studies of the benthic com- 
munity. More meticulous counting! 
Saving streams is hard work. 

The property, as well as locations 
around Fay Spring, provides oppor- 
tunities for five Frederick County 
schools to participate in TU's flagship 
"Trout in the Classroom" program. 
Spearheaded and funded by Win- 
chester TU, students raise brook trout 
from fertilized eggs provided by the 
Department. Carefully monitoring 
water temperature and clarity, pH, 




Good eyesight and careful counting are needed for the TU macroinvertebrate 
study. Shown: Carl Rettenberger, Fred Boyer, and Bud Nagelvoort. 



and levels of oxygen and ammonia, 
participants learn the importance of 
clean water and environmental pro- 
tection. Fry are released into Redbud 
Run. 

Conservation Victory 

The campaign for watershed conser- 
vation and historical preservation of 
Redbud Run is multi-faceted and 
stirring. Much has been accom- 
plished, even skirmishes worked 
through. Tasks remain, but victory is 
in sight. The completed greenway 
will truly honor the men who per- 
ished here, but the highest honor to 
those fallen men is the ongoing dedi- 
cation, commitment, and countless 
hours of hard work that each individ- 
ual and orgctnization contributes to 
make the Redbud vision a reality. D 

Marie and Milan Majarov (umnv.majarov.com) 
arc retired clinical psychologists, nature enthu- 
siasts, and )iie))ibers of the Virgi)na Outdoor 
Writers Associatio)i who live in Winchester 



For More Information: 

Civil War Preservation Trust, 
Third Battle of Winchester 
www.civilwar.org/battlefjelds/third- 
winchester.html 

Shenandoah Valley Battlefields 
Foundation 

www.ShenandoahAtWar.org 

Winchester Trout Unlimited and Trout 
in the Classroom 

www.winchestertu.org/About_TIC.htm 
Redbud Run Conservation Area 
www.winchestertu.org/Red_Bud_ 
Run. htm 

DGIF Habitat at Home DVD-Native 

Plants 

www.dgif.virginia.gov/habitat/dvd/ 

Department of Forestry-Rain Gardens 
www.dof.virginia.gov/mgt/resources/ 
pub-Rain-Garden-Tech-Guide_2008- 
05.pdf 



20 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE vwwi/. HuntFishVa.com 



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Snowshoe hare 



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on 
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21 



Be Wild! Live Wild! Grow 





Shenandoah salamander 



They have been lingering here since the last ice age, but Virginia's 
snowshoe hares might not survive the next decade. 

story by CristinaSantiestevan ♦ illustrations by Spike Knuth 



flnce, snowshoe hares ranged 
throughout Virginia and other 
jtft. southern states. These were the 
days of the last glacial period, when 
the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered 
large swaths of North America, and 
mammoths still roamed these hills. 
Snowshoe hares thrived. Their thick, 
white coat and enormous hind feet — 
literal snowshoes — make them 
uniquely adapted for long, snow- 
filled winters. Then, as the ice sheet 
receded, they followed the cold and 
snow on their northward retreat. 

North is not the only direction a 
species can move when seeking cool- 



er temperatures. Up is another possi- 
bility. This is what Virginia's remain- 
ing snowshoe hares did. Rather than 
moving north, they moved up, fol- 
lowing the cold and snow into the 
Appalachian Mountains. Today, Vir- 
ginia's snowshoe hares can be found 
on three mountaintops in Highland 
County, and nowhere else. They 
have gone as far up as the mountains 
will permit. They have nowhere else 
to go. 

If nothing were to change, these 
relics of a colder time might linger on 
our highest peaks; isolated, but sur- 
viving. Unfortunately, changes are 



coming hard and fast. Human and 
natural causes of climate change are 
linked to rising temperatures, longer 
summers, and shorter winters. The 
results are not good for the snowshoe 
hare, which dons its winter garb in 
response to day length, not snowfall. 
As snows come later and end earlier, 
already molted snowshoe hares will 
become increasingly obvious targets 
for predators. A white rabbit can be 
awfully easy to spot in a snow-free 
landscape. 

While the snowshoe hare's de- 
parture may be a loss for the state of 
Virginia, it's no concern for the 



22 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www, HuntFishVa.com 



species. "The battle to conserve 
snowshoe hares is not going to be 
fought in Virginia," says Chris Bur- 
kett. Wildlife Action Plan coordina- 
tor for the Department. Snowshoe 
hares are relatively common 
throughout their more traditional 
range in the northern United States 
and Canada. Their survival in Vir- 
ginia will have no real impact on 
their survival as a species. But, this 
struggle with climate change is not 
theirs alone. Snowshoe hares are not 
the only ice age holdouts in Vir- 
ginia's mountaintops. 

Like the snowshoe hare, the 
Shenandoah salamander is confined 
to a few of the tallest mountains in 
Virginia. But, unlike the hare, this 
diminutive amphibian is only found 
in Virginia. It lives here, and 
nowhere else. Their entire range is 
within the Shenandoah National 
Park, and their range is getting 
smaller. Changes in their habitat and 
competition from lower-elevation 
red-backed salamanders — both 
spurred by climate change — may 
force the Shenandoah salamander 
from its last remaining home. 
"They've got no opportunity to 
move," explains Burkett. "You're 
looking at an extinction event in the 
making." 

The problem isn't necessarily 
that temperatures are getting too hot 





Red crossbill 



for Shenandoah salamanders. Instead, rising 
temperatures and other changes are allowing 
lower-elevation species to shift higher into 
the mountains. Red-backed salamanders, for 
example, consistently out-compete Shenan- 
doah salamanders wherever the two species 
overlap. As climate changes allow the red- 
backed salamander to alter its range to higher 
elevations, the Shenandoah salamander may 
eventually find itself with no safe place left. 
Already, the Shenandoah salamander is list- 
ed as endangered by both the state of Virginia 
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Shenandoah salamanders are small and 
nondescript. They may easily escape our no- 
tice if we do not know exactly where to look. 



23 



Northern flying squirrel 



Their disappearance, therefore, will 
hardly impact most hikers, hunters, 
and wildlife watchers. This does not 
mean every climate change impact in 
our mountains will go unnoticed. Far 
from it. Along with the tiny Shenan- 
doah salamander, we could be losing 
some true giants. 

Spruce and fir dominated forests 
are a rarity in Virginia. Like the snow- 
shoe hare, these majestic trees are 
specially adapted for cold winters 
and cool summers. And, like the 
Shenandoah salamander, they have 
lower-elevation neighbors that are 
more aggressive and invasive. Vir- 
ginia's temperate hardwood forests 



are advancing into the higher eleva- 
tions, forcing the spruce and fir to re- 
treat before them. Eventually, this 
conifer-based ecosystem will proba- 
bly disappear from even the highest 
places in Virginia. 

The spruce and fir trees may not 
depart alone. The red crossbill, 
whose crisscrossing beak is uniquely 
adapted for opening pinecones, will 
probably leave with them. These 
birds rely on spruce and fir trees for 
their food source and will not linger if 
the conifers disappear. Yellow-bel- 
lied sapsuckers and Northern saw- 
whet owls may also decline as a 
result of climate change impacts, but 




Act Wild 



Here are three simple ways you 
can help Virginia's mountaintop 
creatures: 

1 . Support efforts to protect 
wildlife habitat locally and 
statewide. Undeveloped 
sweeps of land and water may 
be necessary as our climate 
changes and some species 
begin to migrate farther north 
or more inland. 

2. Considerjoining the Virginia 
Master Naturalist program or 
another statewide, or local, 
stewardship group. 

3. Share your knowledge and en- 
thusiasm with others. Inspire 
your friends and family to sup- 
port wildlife conservation. Talk 
with your neighbor about cli- 
mate change and Shenandoah 
salamanders. Take a child hikinc 



f Northern saw-whet owl 



they could fare better than the red 
crossbill because they are less depend- 
ent on the spruce and fir forests. This 
may allow the sapsucker and saw- 
whet owl to adapt better to coming 
changes. 

For the most part, the losers in this 
revision of habitats will be the special- 
ists — animals and plants that are 
uniquely adapted for a particular habi- 
tat, food item, or other natural re- 
source. The snowshoe hares, for 
example, require consistently snowy 
winters to match their perfect winter 
coats. When the snowshoe hare is 
gone, the less specialized cottontail will 
fill its void. This is a pattern that will be 
repeated up and down Virginia's hills 
and valleys. More adaptable species 
will take advantage of the losses sus- 
tained by more specialized species. 

"Generalists that can take advan- 
tage of a lot of different opportunities 
are probably going to deal with climate 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www.HuntFishVa.com 



change reasonably well," explains Burkett. "Isolated species that can't 
move around are going to have a much harder time of it." 

Few habitats are more isolating them mountaintops. With the excep- 
tion of birds and larger mammals, most high-elevation species are essen- 
tially stranded on their lofty perches. In order to move elsewhere, the 
Shenandoah salamander would first need to venture down into habitats 
that ill suit its needs and are heavily populated by the more aggressive 
red-backed salamander. This is a journey that no Shenandoah salaman- 
der would be likely to survive. So, they cling to their mountains, slowly 
losing ground as climate changes allow lower elevation neighbors 
to invade their territory. 

But, what can we do for the Shenandoah salaman- 
der or the spruce and fir forests? Our climate is chang- 
ing, and we can neither reverse these changes nor 
raise the height of our mountains. According to 
Burkett, our spruce and fir forests are already 
declining, and lower elevation species are 
climbing higher into the mountains. "It's a 
pretty dynamic situation," says Burkett. 
"I suspect that Virginia in 2110 will 
look very different from Virginia 
in 2010." 

Burkett believes smart 
management decisions can 
help some of these species 
weather the coming changes. 
If we cannot grow taller 
mountains, we can contribute 
to management and conserva- 
tion programs that ensure our 
mountains are as healthy as 
possible. Thriving forests, clean 
rivers, and well-protected 
wild places: These may be 
the keys to survival for 
dozens of species. 
Healthy populations 
and healthy habitats 
are going to have a 
better opportunity 
to adapt to these 
changing climatic 
conditions." 

We probably cannot 

save the snowshoe hare in 

Virginia. But, just maybe, we 

can save the Shenandoah 

salamander — a species 

that is ours alone. D 




Cristina Santiestevan writes 
about wildlife and the environ- 
ment from her home in Virginia's 
Blue Ridge Mountains. 



Yellow-bellied sapsucker 



NOVEMBER 20 10 



25 




"tour dog 



Three area veterinarians 

offer advice for taking in 

"marishestfriend." 




by Clarke C.Jones 



housands of years ago, the first wild ca- 
nine crossed over the divide of fear that 
separated it from man. The relationship 
that resulted when the dog first began sharing 
its space with humans and, in turn, allowed its 
subjvigation to the human race has been a bene- 
fit to all mankind. Those domesticated dogs not 
only offered an early warning system for human 
encampments, but also acted as beasts of bur- 
den. An example, the ancient Basenji of Central 
Africa is thought to have assisted men in hunt- 
ing game. 

The evolution of the dog-human relation- 
ship is well documented. From the taming of an- 
cient dogs, we now have over 150 breeds 
recognized by the American Kennel Club. Dogs 
have been bred selectively to improve the traits 
that fit particular needs of man. We have work- 
ing dogs that herd sheep and cattle, dogs that 
provide security and rescue, and hunting dogs 
bred for specific tasks — whether it is pointing 
and retrieving game, or dogs that flush and 
chase game. 

As man evolved from a hunter-gatherer to 
an agrarian and city dweller, dog breeds 
changed as well. Breeds became smaller or larg- 
er as man's desires or needs may have required. 




Dr. McFadden checks out an appreciative patient as part 
of a wellness exam. 



26 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www.HuntFishVa.com 



It appears, however, that in instances 
where certain breeds have long been 
removed from a socialized pack, a 
form of pack mentality still remains. 
Some dogs seem happiest when they 
understand their place in a home en- 
vironment, similar to experiencing a 
pack situation. Here, the human 
adults in the family may represent 
the Alpha male and female. It has 
also been noted that many dogs de- 
sire — and even require — a certain 
amount of attention. This may or 
may not correlate to a dog's behavior 
when it is reunited with the adult or 
other family members after being left 
alone for a period of time, such as 
during family errands. 

Because humans have taken over 
what some consider the Alpha role of 
dogs — whether by design or by de- 
fault — when we bring a puppy or 
dog into our home we ought to be 
aware of just what we are taking on. 

I interviewed three veterinarians 
from the Richmond area: Dr. Owen 
C. McFadden, owner and hospital di- 
rector of the Midlothian Animal Clin- 
ic; Dr. Steven R. Escobar, of the 
Springfield Veterinary Center in 
Richmond; and Dr. Thomas A. Car- 
roll, who practices at the Village Vet- 
erinary Service in Amelia and the 
Nature Veterinary Center in South 
Hill. Sixty to seventy-five percent of 
their business is devoted to dog is- 
sues, and two of the three veterinari- 
ans are avid hunters. They are well 
qualified to answer the question I 
posed: "What do veterinarians think 
is important when bringing a canine 
into the home?" 

As a veterinarian, what do you think new dog 
owners should know and understand when 
purchasing a family dog? 

Dr. McFadden: 

They should know and understand 
the responsibility they are undertak- 
ing. The responsibilities of owner- 
ship are just beginning when the dog 
is brought home. Besides the basics of 
providing food, water, and shelter, a 
dog will require preventive medical 



care, including wellness examina- 
tions, vaccinations, heartworm and 
flea and tick prevention. 

Dr. Escobar: 

Prospective owners would serve 
themselves and their families well if 
they researched the breed of dog they 
want to bring home. Thought should 
be given to the age of any children in 
the household and the space avail- 
able to the dog. The exercise needs of 
the particular breed are very impor- 
tant. 

You can nip aggressiveness and 
dominance problems before they 
start by being a better educated pet 
owner. I see so many good dogs that 
have behavioral problems because 
the owner had not understood, or 
even cared about, what is involved in 
raising a pup. If more prospective 
owners would do a bit of homework 
by incjuiring of their vets and breed- 
ers, there would be less dogs ending 
up in shelters. 

Pet health insurance seems to he a hot topic 
lately What isyour opinion about obtaining 
medical insurance for your pet? 

Dr. McFadden: 

I think it is a wise investment. It is 
readily available and not as expen- 
sive as you might think. Your dog's 
good health will allow him to live 
longer; therefore, your pet's care will 
be an ongoing investment. 

What are the most common problems people 
have with dogs and how can they prevent 
them? 

Dr. Carroll: 

Behavioral problems, such as house- 
breaking and chewing inappropriate 
things inside the house, are what 
most dog owners have to deal with. 
Knowing the idiosyncrasies of a par- 
ticular breed could save the owner a 
great deal of problems. Some dogs 
may do well left alone for extended 
periods of time and some breeds can 
be very destructive when left alone, 
even for a very short time. Research 



the breed to make sure there is a 
match with your Lifestyle and living 
space and the particular dog you 
wish to own. 

Housebreaking always seems to be an issue 
fordogowners Anytips? 

Dr. Carroll: 

A dog owner should understand the 
proper correction techniques and 
the value of consistency when train- 
ing a dog. The internet is a good 
source for helping the dog owner 
through this. Most dogs have a de- 
sire to fit into a unit, but the new dog 
owner must understand that it may 
take a couple of weeks for the dog to 
understand what is expected. The 
owner must be willing to put in the 
time. Be patient and be consistent. 
Consistency as to when you feed 
your dog, when you take it out for a 
walk, and when you correct it helps 
the dog learn what is expected much 
faster. 

Are there different health issues between a 
large dog and a smaller dog? 

Dr. Escobar: 

While small dogs tend to live longer 

than larger dogs, small dogs seem to 




Conditioning your dog before hunting 
season begins will help prevent 
injuries. 



NOVEMBER 20 1 



27 



have more cardiovascular and dental 
issues. If you want a mastiff or great 
dane, know from the start that your 
relationship with those types of dogs 
is historically shorter than with a dog 
like a chihuahua. 

Dr. McFadden: 

Golden retrievers as a breed tend to 
be allergy prone and susceptible to 
cancer Small dogs such as pugs and 
bull dogs may have respiratory prob- 
lems. Very active, deep-chested dogs 
can have a propensity for bloat. 

Whatisbloat? 

Dr. McFadde?i: 

It is gastric dilatation and torsion 
(twist) of the stomach, and can be 
fatal if not treated quickly. Bloating 
often occurs when a dog is fed and 
then becomes very active after hav- 
ing minimal time to digest its food. It 
can also happen if you are out hunt- 
ing and it's hot and you give your 
dog too much water, trying to cool 
him off, and then go right back to 
hunting again. A dog running with a 
gallon of water sloshing around its 
stomach could experience this condi- 
tion. 

In a hunting situation, how much water is 
enough to give your dog and feel it is safe to 
continue high activity? 

Dr. McFadden: 

A lot depends on the dog, but two 
cups of water may be enough. You 
certainly do not want your dog to be- 
come dehydrated, but use common 
sense. It is also important to give 
your dog a breather Don't forget hy- 
poglycemia; give him a snack as 
well. Dogs may look happy running 
and hunting, but if you and your dog 
have been lying around all summer 
and are not in shape, both of you 
could wind up with some type of in- 
jury. 

How can people avoid injuries to their dogs if 
they own breeds that are veryacti\'e? 



Dr. Carroll: 

If you are a hunter or run field or 
agility trials, one of the things you 
should do is to look at your dog as an 
athlete. If you have played any sport, 
you know the importance of condi- 
tioning and being in shape. If your 
hunting dog chases game, it is very 
important to make sure its pads are 
toughened before the start of hunting 
season. Foot injuries can put your 
dog out of commission for weeks 
and it isn't necessary. Hunt clubs 
could serve themselves well if they 
would invite a vet to review their 
kennel operation. It's a good way for 
a club to get first-hand information 
on how to improve and maintain the 
health of their dogs. 

Dr. McFadden: 

Owners can minimize a dog's sus- 
ceptibility to injury or illness by 
maintaining their dogs in good phys- 
ical shape through diet and exercise, 
annual examinations and vaccina- 
tions, as well as routine intestinal 
parasite de-worming, heartworm 
prevention, and flea and tick control. 
Injuries are often chance accidents, 
but use common sense. Don't put 
your dog in unnecessary, risky situa- 
tions. 

Whatare some oftheadvancesyou have seen 
in thelasttenyearsin veterinarymedicine? 

Dr. Escobar: 

Ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans are 
used more today to help discover 
and locate diseases. The images from 



these medical devices assist the vet to 
a much greater degree than the X-ray 
machines we had to rely upon years 
ago. We are able to find cancers, brain 
and spinal cord injuries, and other 
problems more quickly and with a 
greater degree of accuracy. 

Besides skin diseases, what other problems 
are prevalent among dogs? 

Dr. Escobar: 

Obesity. Thirty years ago maybe thir- 
ty percent of dogs had an obesity 
problem. Now, seventy percent of 
dogs seem to have this problem. 
Ironically, I believe it has to do with 
the so-called "improved" quality of 
dog food we are feeding dogs. Thirty 
years ago there was one major brand 
of dry dog food that had fillers and 
fiber in it. A competitive dog food 
manufacturer presented a concept of 
a high-caloric dog food that would 
enable the dog owner to feed his/her 
dog less food volume. The theory 
was the dog owner could give the 
dog a better quality food, but because 
of the higher caloric content, the dog 
would need less of it, thereby saving 
the dog owner money. However, the 
dog still seems hungry and the owner, 
looking at the small amount of food 
in the dog bowl, believes he can't be 
helping the dog, so he begins to give 
the dog the same portion of food as 
he did before. If the dog is taking in 
higher calories and there is no in- 
crease in an exercise regimen, the dog 
may begin to put on weight. 




Proper diet and care lead to healthy 
teeth. 



Checking for mites and other ear condi- 
tions is part of a wellness visit. 



28 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE vwvw.HuntFishVa.com 




How do you prepare a dog owner for the time 
when he or she may have to put their dog 
down? 

Dr. Escobar: 

First thing is — you do not judge the 
owner's decision. Some owners can- 
not let go and others are able to ac- 
cept the reality that the dog's quality 
of life has deteriorated to the degree 
that it is in pain, and is suffering. You 
explain as best as you can what the 
dog has to live with each day, but in 
the end it is the client's decision. 

Dr. Carroll: 

I never recommend euthanasia but I 
do explain to the client, as best as 1 
can, what pain or discomfort the dog 
may be experiencing. I also explain 
what the prognosis is for the dog and 
treatment options and how effective 
or lasting these treatments may be. In 
the end, it is the owner who must 
make the decision. 

Dr. Mc Fadden: 

This is a really tough situation. It is 
not easy for the owner, and no matter 
how many times doctors have had to 
perform this procedure, it is not easy 
for them. A lot of veterinarians are 
dog owners, so most have a sense of 
what a dog owner is going through. 
In cases where you are dealing with 
an animal that has been a part of the 
family for 10 to 15 years, it can be 
emotionally grueling. Grief counsel- 
ing is part of our training. 

There is a common denominator 
found in each of the doctors inter- 
viewed — the compassion each has 
for the health of a dog. As one of the 
veterinarians put it, "Some people 
think they have a right to own a dog, 
and maybe they do — ^but their right 
does not end with ownership. With 
ownership comes responsibility." D 

Clarke C. Jones is a freelance writer ivlw 
spends his spare time with his black Lab, 
Luke, hunting up good stories. You can visit 
Clarke and Luke on their website at 
www.clarkecjones.com. 




NOVEMBER 20 10 



29 




2010-2011 Outdoor 
Calendar of Events 

Unless otherwise noted, for current infor- 
mation and registration on workshops go 
to the "Upcoming Events" page on our 
website at www.HuntFishVA.com or call 
804-367-7800. 

November 13: Firearms deer season 
opens. 

November 13-14: 15th annual Call of 
the Wild Conference. For more infor- 
mation: www.wildlifecenter.org. 

December 11: Novice Youth Deer 
Hunt and Workshop, Occoquan Bay 
National Wildlife Refuge. For youth 
12-18 with 3 years or less hunting 
experience. 

December 14— January 5: Audubon 
Christmas Bird Count. For more 
information: http: / /birds.audubon. 

org / bird /cbc/. 

January 28-30: Winter Wildlife 
Festival, Virginia Beach. For more 
information and registration: 
www.vbgov.com/ winterwildUfe. 




"Tlirof^Lt/t- 



"He says the scent killer isn't 
working. He can still smell us." 



You Can Make a Difference 
HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY 



Z 

1 




Hunters for the Hungry receives donated deer from successful hunters and funds 
to cover the costs of processing, so that venison may be distributed to those in 
need across the state. Each $40 contribution allows another deer to be accepted. 
Hunters donating an entire deer are not required to pay any part of the processing fee. 
The David Home Hunger Relief Bill gives hunters the opportunity to donate $2 or 
more to the program when purchasing a hunting license. One hundred percent of each 
donation goes to providing venison to the hungry. For additional information or to 
make a donation, visit www.h4hungry.org or call 1-800-352-HUNT (4868). Each of us 
can make a difference. 



OUAIL ACTION PLAN 



Department staffare working with a broad range of public and private partners to 
restore critical upland habitat needed by the bobwhite quail to thrive. Among the 
many initiatives underway are: 

Establishment of early succession wildlife focus areas across the state, in concert 
with the work performed by Soil & Water Conservation Districts in Virginia; 

• Wildlife professionals assisting with delivery of USDA Farm Bill programs to 
landowners that benefit quail and other, early succession wildlife species; and 

• Establishment of demonstration areas that showcase technical management 
tools put in place to effectively manage for quail. 

A new video. Answering the Call, Virginia 's Quail Recovery Initiative, h ig h I ig hts the 
work being done by many state and federal agencies to restore quail habitat in 
Virginia. This video provides information on managing private lands for quail and 
encourages landowner participation in the quail recovery effort. Landowners inter- 
ested in viewing the video can find it at www.dgif.virginia.gov. A limited number of 
DVDs will be produced. To request a video, or for more information about Virginia's 
Quail Action Plan, email DGIF biologist Marc Puckett. 

For more information about the quail plan, To contact a Private Lands Wildlife 
goto: www.HuntFishVA.com/wildlife/quail/ Biologist: 
action-plan/quail-action-plan.pdf. marc.puckett@dgif.virginia.gov. 



AhMOUMciwg the Kids 'm FIsbmg Photo Contest Wmners! 



Thanks to everyone who partici- 
pated this year Thanks also to 
our partners, Shakespeare and 
Green Top Sporting Goods, who 
awarded prizes to the top 3 win- 
ners in each age category. We 
could not do this without you. 
To view all the winning entries, 
go to: www.dgif.virginia.gov/ 
kidsnfishing/2010-winners.asp. 




Gavin, age 5 



Kimberly, age 7 



30 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE wvvw.HuntFishVa.com 




Ra>^ 



by Beth Hester 

Gunnin' Birds: Featuring the 
Collection ofKroghieAndresen 

Kroghie Andresen 

2008 Spark Publications 

Phone: 704-844-6080 

vv WW. gu n n inb i rd s . CO m 

Hardcover w/ full-color photos 

and maps 

$70.00 

"I dedicate this book to my wife Ross. . . 
and to the legacies of the decoy carvers 
and ivaterfowl guides past and present, 
along the North Carolina Outer Banks 
and Back Bay Virginia area, and to the 
decoy collectors and historians who share 
my interest in Southern decoys. " 

-Kroghie Andresen 

Retired Wachovia bank executive 
Kroghie Andresen has a passion for 
decoys, and over a thirty-year career 
as a collector, he has amassed a diver- 
sified collection of more than 1,100 
wooden and canvas decoys includ- 
ing ducks, swans, brant, and various 
shorebirds from all along the Back 
Bay and North Carolina's Outer 
Banks regions. 

Kroghie's wife Ross purchased 
his first decoy as a gift with which to 
decorate their new den. That lone 
decoy inspired him to seek out clas- 
sic specimens of the decoy carver's 
craft, and more importantly, through 
extensive research, to attempt to doc- 
ument the stories of previously un- 
known carvers, the provenance of 
certain decoys, and the histories of 
the coastal communities where wa- 
terfowling traditions were woven 
into the fabric of everyday life. 

This handsome, 380-page vol- 
ume is appealing for a number of rea- 
sons: decoy aficionados will find 



Kroghie's perspective on the world 
of decoy collecting instructive, and 
waterfowlers and coastal history 
lovers will relish the sections touch- 
ing on the early years of water fowl- 
ing in these specialized environ- 
ments. Especially engaging are the 
stories associated with the gun clubs 
and hunting adventures of yester- 
year, decoy legend and lore, and the 
painstakingly detailed biographies 
of those artisans who breathed 
enough life into those cypress knees, 
juniper logs, and sheets of canvas to 
fool even the most wary duck. 

Every decoy carver had a dis- 
tinctive, regional style and Kroghie 
takes the reader on a guided decoy 
tour. Many decoy carvers were also 
farmers, hunting guides, boat 
builders, carpenters, and all-round 
watermen whose art was a natural 
extension of their lives in the cxit- 
doors. To weave together the various 
narratives, Kroghie interviewed 
local historians, other decoy collec- 
tors, and the carver's family mem- 
bers whenever possible. Each 
chapter contains compelling photo- 
graphs of the craftsperson and their 
environment, often in nostalgic sepia 
tone, or grainy black and white. Fi- 
nally, detailed full-color photo- 
graphs of the artist's decoys 
accompany each section. 

Gunnin' Birds is an award-win- 
ning labor of love, a substantial docu- 
ment that preserves the history and 
traditions of an important coastal re- 
gion's waterfowling art. You won't 
be able to put it down. Highly recom- 
mended. U 



/ 



h 




Find Game 



To learn more about Find Game, visit 
www.HuntFishVA.com/hunting/findgame 



%i0^^ 




Ten-year-old Jostiua Fisctier took his first deer 
while hunting with his dad, Andy, on the open- 
ing day of the prearms season. The 11-pointer 
with a 16 1/2-inch inside spread weighed 147 
pounds. Josh took his deer with a Browning 
.308 lever action that was left to him by his 
late grandfather, Edward J. Fischer Jr, who 
was an avid hunter and enjoyed the outdoors 
and teaching his three sons to do the same. 
Josh says there have been a lot of deer taken 
with this old rifle and no doubt there will be 
more. 



C(jmttna$ 

BIRD 
COUNT 




December 14-January 5 
Get Involved! 

www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/ 



NOVEMBER 20 10 



31 




rrust: a small word that means a lot 
in any relationship, whether it is 
between a dog and a human or a 
human and a human. Trust has been 
defined as a "firm reliance on the in- 
tegrity or the ability of a person or 
thing." For humans, trust is created by 
experience and by good communica- 
tion. 

In my case, 1 have the added ad- 
vantage of instinct. Instinctively, I put 
great trust in my nose. 

My nose tells me that there is a 
pheasant close by or on the move. The 
more experience 1 have in situations 
where 1 get to smell pheasants and fol- 
low their scent, the more 1 trust my in- 
stincts as to where the specific 
pheasant is and the better chance I 
have of flushing that bird. The more 
times my nose and 1 are right, the more 
I communicate to my hunting partner 
that I, and not he, know where that 
wily rooster will be. 

By watching how your hunting 
dog reacts or communicates to you the 
possibility of game scent, the more 
you — the hunter — will be prepared. 
Your dog communicates with you all 
the time when you are in the field. It is 
upj to you to learn what your dog is 
telling you, either by watching its ac- 
tions closely or by carefully listening to 
it. A pointing or flushing dog may ex- 
hibit a very special motion or action 
that, if watched carefully, will let you 
know that he is locked on to a bird or 
covey. The pitch or the volume of a 
trailing hound's cry, for example, lets 
the experienced hunter know that the 
dog has either found the scent or is 
close to the quarry. 



Dogs obviously do not have the 
same writing or verbal skills as hu- 
mans, but we are great at observing 
things. We pick up the nuances of fa- 
cial expressions, body language, and 
tone of voice. We can tell if you are in a 
good mood or if you've had a bad day 
at the office. 

I see that as a plus. For instance, if 
we go to a foreign country and meet a 
foreign dog, we can still understand 
what that dog is telling us just by its 
posture. If a dog's tail is moving in a 
certain way, if a dog is standing stiff- 
legged, if a dog's ears are set in a cer- 
tain way or its gums begin to curl, we 
dogs know what is being said to us. 
You humans, on the other hand, will 
repeat what you said in your own lan- 
guage either slower or louder to a for- 
eign person (who still does not 
understand what you said the first 
time), thinking that speaking slower 
and louder makes things clearer. It 
does not! 

Oftentimes, you humans may 
say the words but you do not mean 
what you say. For instance, the other 
day the Alpha male in our house told 
the Alpha female in our house that he 
was going fishing for the weekend 
with some of his friends. The Alpha 
female said, "Go ahead and do what 
you want to do." When the Alpha 
male returned from his fishing week- 
end feeling rested and happy, he soon 
learned that "Go ahead and do what 
you want to do" does not mean what 
he thought it did. Now a dog would 
not have that problem. A bark can 
mean, / aw happy to see you, or it can 
mean. Stay away\ Dogs tend to watch 



and observe what the rest of another 
dog's body is saying before we make 
our decisions. By observing how things 
work in the pack, we establish an order 
of some form that limits confusion and 
arguments. Dogs understand the value 
of order and teamwork, and we tend to 
work things out fairly. All of this is done 
without that something you humans 
evidently cannot do without — 
LAWYERS. D 

Keep a leg up, 
Luke 

Luke is a black iMbrador retriever who spends his 
spare time hunting up good stories with his best 
friend, Clarke C. Jones. You can contact Luke 
and Clarke at wn'w.clarkeciones.com. 



Mandatory Duck 
Stamps & HIP 




^ II hunters who plan to hunt doves, 
waterfowl, rails, woodcock, snipe, 
coots, gallinules, or nnoorhens in Virginia 
must be registered with the Virginia Har- 
vest Infornnation Program (HIP). HIP is 
required each year and a new registra- 
tion number is needed for the 
2010-2011 hunting season. To obtain a 
new HIP number, register online at 
www.VAHIP.com or call 1-888-788-9772. 
In addition, to hunt waterfowl in 
Virginia hunters must obtain a Federal 
Duck Stamp and the Virginia Migratory 
Waterfowl Conservation Stamp. The an- 
nual Migratory Waterfowl Conservation 
Stamp can be purchased for $10.00 (res- 
ident or non-resident) from VDGIF li- 
cense agents or from the Depart- 
ment's website. To request collector 
stamps and prints, contact Mike Hinton 
by email at ducks@hintons.org. 



32 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE www HuntFishVa.com 




by Lynda Richardson 



Gray Snow a Problem? - Just Open Up! 



m\ ne of the reasons some photog- 
\/ raphers have trouble capturing 
white snow is due to the fact that all 
internal camera meters are calibrated 
to make everything 18 percent gray! 
It doesn't matter which in-camera 
metering system you use, the meter's 
mission is to hit that percentage. 
(And by the way, 18% gray is approx- 
imately the tone of mature green 
grass.) 

With this in mind, if your subject 
is black the meter will suggest a set- 
ting to make the subject 18% gray — 
not black. If the subject is white it will 
also suggest a setting to make that 
subject 18%; gray — not white. As long 
as you are aware of this, it isn't a 
problem and you can make the prop- 
er exposure adjustments. If you're 
not aware of it you will end up with 
18% gray subjects all the time! 

So, how do you fix this gray 
snow problem? Simple... just add 
more light. By opening up or adding 
one to two stops of light, you can 
change gray snow to white snow. 
Easy, eh? 

Here's an example of what I'm 
talking about. If you decide to shoot a 
bright snowy scene at ISO 100 and 
you want a lot of depth-of-field and 
select f22.0, your camera's meter will 
probably suggest around l/60th as 
your shutter speed. Go ahead and 
shoot this exposure for comparison, 
but it will result in gray snow. 

Now, to get white snow you add 
light by doing one of the following: 1) 
raise (open up) the ISO to 200, and 
this will add one stop of more light; 
or 2) lower (open up) the shutter 
speed from l/60th to l/30th, and 
this will add one stop of light; or 3) 
lower (open up) the apertiu-e setting 
from f22.0 to fl6.0, and this will add 
one stop of light. (ALERT, ALERT: 




Sometimes snow doesn't record white 
even if you open up. In this photograph 
of my dog. Miss Max, which was originally 
shot on Fuji Provia slide film, the dog 
showed up white (because I opened up!) 
but the snow recorded a rich blue. Canon 
T90 SLR film camera, settings not recorded. 
© Lynda Richardson 



DO NOT change more than one set- 
ting at a time when testing this out!) 

If you discover that your snow is 
still grayer than you'd like, feel free to 



open up one of your settings even 
more. Maybe change the ISO to 400, 
the aperture to fU.O, or the shutter 
speed to l/15th. So, is your snow 
white yet? It should be now. 

Having a better understanding 
of how your camera meter works 
and how to make proper exposures 
is one of the best ways to improve 
your photography. Good Luck and 
Happy Shooting! D 

You are invited to submit one to five of your 
best photographs to "Image of the Month," 
Virginia WildLife Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, 
4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 
23230-1104. Send original slides, super 
high-quality prints, or high-res jpeg, tiff, or 
raw files on a disk and include a self-ad- 
dressed, stamped envelope or other shipping 
method for return. Also, please include any 
pertinent information regarding how and 
where you captured the image and what cam- 
era and settings you used, along with your 
phone number. We look forward to seeing and 
sharing your work with our readers. 



fhwt^ra {t^ iUkii IStrnm 




Congratulations go to 
Mariah Lambie of Rich- 
mond for her wonderful 
snowy image of a 
Carolina wren. At age 
13, Mariah loves photo- 
graphing wildlife and 
can be seen stalking 
birds all around her 
neighborhood. Pana- 
sonic DMC-FS15 digital 
camera, ISO 100, 
l/80th,f5.9, with flash. 
Way to go Mariah!!! 



NOVEMBER 20 1 



33 




by Ken and Maria Perrotte 



J 



J 



Jj/JjJij 




Chicken Fried Venison, the Ultimate Comfort Food 



A f ot too long after joining the niilitary, Ken found 
I V himself in a little Texas cafe where the waitress 
recommended the chicken fried steak, sometimes 
known as country fried steak. That approximately 
10-inch-diameter slice of tenderized cube steak ar- 
rived sizzling hot, coated in a golden brown crust 
and topped with perfectly seasoned cream gravy. 
Thick mashed potatoes with vegetables shared the 
plate. Thus began a love affair that has endured for 
decades. 

It is so difficult to serve a modest helping of 
chicken fried anything. Some meals demand full bel- 
lies at the end and a suitable challenge, such as 
watching a football game while a fire warms the 
room, or a similarly strenuous activity. 

Naturally, the question eventually arose, "How 
would this taste with deer?" 

The answer, "Pass me some more of that gravy, 
please." 

Ingredients (serves 2-4) 

1 pound boneless venison cut into V2-inch slices 
(we like to use round roast and butterfly the 
smaller pieces) 

V4 cup milk 

1 egg or V4 teaspoon egg substitute 

Va to V2 teaspoon salt, depending on your taste 

V4 teaspoon pepper 

V3 to V2 cup all-purpose flour 

3 tablespoons butter 

3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 

Gravy 

V/2 cu p whole milk 

2 rounded tablespoons flour 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Preparation 

Several years ago, we discovered the Mr. Tenderizer, 
a simple, inexpensive gadget that makes it easy to 



tenderize meat. It assembles quickly, works well, and 
is easy to clean. It is made of plastic and not designed 
for heavy, prolonged work, but in those few times a 
year when a recipe calls for pounding or tenderizing 
thin cuts of meat or poultry, we've enjoyed the quali- 
ty of its results. Of course, other commercial products 
are available or there is the meat mallet option. 

Run the venison pieces through the tenderizer or 
pound with a meat mallet until it's uniformly about 
Va- inch thick. It may take a few trips through to reach 
desired thickness. Mix the egg and milk and soak 
meat in the mixture while combining the flour, salt, 
and pepper on a paper plate or cutting board. Lift 
meat pieces from the egg mixture and let excess drip 
off. Dredge in flour, coating well. Melt butter or oil in 
a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meat and 
brown on both sides. Remove the meat and keep 
warm while making the gravy. 

Blend the gravy ingredients well and add to pan 
drippings. Stir or whisk over medium heat until 
thickened. Spoon gravy over meat and potatoes, if 
desired, when serving. 

Sides 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes 

1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1 Vi- to 
2-inch chunks 

3 tablespoons softened margarine 
V2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 

2 tablespoons mayonnaise 

Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste 
2 or 3 tablespoons milk 

Boil potatoes in water until tender, about 15 minutes. 
While cooking, combine margarine and garlic. Drain 
and mash potatoes in a mixing bowl. Mix in the mar- 
garine and garlic, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add 
milk to desired consistency. 

Serve with green peas and biscuits. D 



34 



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